El Galeon del Caribe aka Las Pescadillas, is a rustic (to say the least) hidden treasure in Cancun's Hotel Zone. Tucked in between the mangroves on Nichupte Lagoon at km 19.4 of Kukulcan Boulevard (across the street from the GR Solaris Cancun) Las Pescadillas, is essentially chairs and tables under a palapa, but they serve the yummiest, freshest pescadillas (fried corn tortillas stuffed with fish) around. They also serve delicious ceviche, garlic shrimp, soft drinks, cold cerveza and more. This is traditional, authentic Mexican seafood at its best, and the price can't be beat. Oh, and there's no dress code.
Recommended for Lunch because: El Galeon del Caribe serves up traditional Mexican "street" food in the most casual and authentic atmosphere.
Kristin's expert tip: Order 2 o 3 pescadillas. One won't be enough.
There are many restaurants on the lagoon in Cancun, but Almadia Cancún Bar & Marisquería (formerly Mocambo) is one of the few oceanfront eateries in town. Located right next to Playa Caracol, a popular public beach, Almadia serves up some of Cancun's best seafood. Open for lunch and dinner, the dining area is open-air and covered with a large palapa (thatched roof). There are gorgeous views of the island of Isla Mujeres off in the distance, as well as of the lighthouse which is located a short distance away at the Hyatt Ziva. The cuisine has a gourmet, contemporary twist and in addition to seafood, they serve pasta and steak.
Recommended for Lunch because: Almadia Cancún Bar & Marisquería serves seafood and the best lunchtime views in the Hotel Zone.
Susan's expert tip: If you want a front row view of the Caribeean Sea, make a reservation. The tables with the best views fill up quickly.
La Troje (The Shed) is tucked in a upscale neighborhood near Plaza Las Americas in downtown Cancun. The restaurant has a sidewalk cafe feeling and they serve delicious salads, pasta, crepes, baguettes, pizza, fondues, beer and wine...so it's a wonderful place for lunch or a light dinner. Try the extremely popular Ensalada Margarita (Margarita Salad) which features shrimp and asparagus. From the hotel zone take the R-27 Bus and get off downtown on Tulum avenue just in front of Sports City then walk through Sport's City front entrance and parking lot. When you reach the next street La Troje is to the left.
Recommended for Lunch because: La Troje is a local favorite, due to it's delicious, economical food and charming atmosphere.
Kristin's expert tip: Visit on Tuesday for a 30% discount.
Los de Pescado's menu is very small, but the economical items they serve are out of this world. This is a local's favorite, with locations all over downtown Cancun. This is great take-out food that reheats well and they even deliver! Menu items include fish or shrimp tacos, ceviche or ceviche tostadas, and fish or shrimp burritos. Have an ice cold beer or "agua natural" with your lunch or dinner and do not miss the spicy white mayonnaise-based dressing.
Recommended for Lunch because: Locals love Los de Pescado because it's cheap and the fish tacos (and everything else they serve) are delicious.
Kristin's expert tip: An order of tacos is two tacos, so order two if you want four!
This restaurant, in downtown Cancun, is a favorite of locals. The menu is large and consists of page after page of healthy dishes made with natural ingredients. Soups, salads, sandwiches and wraps, Mexican specialties and seafood dishes are the main items offered, but there is also a very large drink menu. Fresh fruit juices, teas, and fruit smoothies are as popular as they are delicious. Each one is made-to-order so beverage service can be a little slow, if the restaurant is busy. It's worth the wait though. There is an indoor dining, with air conditioning and lots of large plants to give you a sense of being outside, and there is an outdoor area, in a garden, under some large trees that provide shade and a nice breeze. Vegetarians will find quite a few delicious items to choose from, on the menu. For breakfast, tasty omelettes, scrambled eggs, and pancakes are offered, along with fresh fruit and some Mexican specialties.
Recommended for Lunch because: 100% Natural is a Cancun institution open for breakfast, lunch and early dinner.
Susan's expert tip: Try the fresh juices, fruit smoothies, or other natural beverages, like Jamaica (pronounce ha-MIKE-a), which is a tasty hibiscus tea.
This tiny, open-air restaurant is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and they are always serving delicious food. Any time, day or night, you can order made-to-order burritos and tacos, nachos, taco salads, quesadillas, ceviche, and a few appetizers. After 11:30am, they fire up the grill and start serving barbecue beef ribs, hamburgers, barbecue garlic chicken, jerk chicken, and grilled chicken wings. There is also a full bar, so you can get a beer or cocktail at any hour. For breakfast, there are no traditional American breakfast favorites offered, but they do serve breakfast burritos and tacos, which have spicy Mexican sausage and beans inside them. It's a tasty option for breakfast so don't knock it until you try it. This place has low prices, with most dishes coming in at well under $100 pesos (so less than $10 US dollars). The breakfast burritos and tacos are $49 pesos, which is quite a bargain, since the burritos are huge.
Recommended for Lunch because: The Surfin Burrito is beloved by both tourists and locals because of it's casual vibe, large portions and tempting drinks.
Susan's expert tip: All seating is outdoors so be sure to wear sunscreen on sunny days and take an umbrella or raincoat on rainy days because you will be exposed to the elements here.
This is one of the best places in Cancun to go for a sandwich. Fresh baguettes or croissants are piled high with meats, cheeses, and vegetables. The garlic mayonnaise served on these sandwiches makes them highly addictive. The restaurant opens early, for breakfast, and stays open until 10:00 pm. At most times of the day, there is usually a crowd of people waiting near the counter to pick up get their take-out order. Breakfast offerings (only in some locations) consist of croissants, boiled eggs, coffee, cappuccino, espresso, hot chocolate, tea, fruit juice, or sandwiches. The most popular item on the menu is the Economica, an economically priced baguette sandwich. The sandwich consists of salami, cheese and peppers on a baguette. Other popular items are the Italian Sandwich and the Vegetarian Sandwich is an option for diners that don't eat meat. If you prefer your sandwich on a croissant instead of on a baguette, croissants can be substituted for a few pesos more. The delicious food and the low prices make this place a huge hit with locals and tourists alike.
Recommended for Lunch because: Ty-Coz is delicious and inexpensive. It's a local favorite.
Susan's expert tip: Try the Italian sandwich. It's one of the best things on the menu. If you are penny-pinching, opt for the inexpensive, yet tasty Economica sandwich instead.
This casual seafood restaurant is located smack in the middle of the Hotel Zone but it's also a local favorite. El Fish Fritanga is open daily from 11 am to 11 pm. This is a great spot for a family meal. They have high chairs and a changing station available and outdoor kids play area. The restaurant is also pet friendly and offers WiFi. If you go on a fishing tour and catch a fish, they will prepare it for you! Prices on their menu range start at just 50 pesos (about 2.50 usd) for two of their famous pescadillas (fried fish tacos). They are located on the lagoon so you'll enjoy a lovely view. Try the ceviche or fish tacos with a frosty chelada (prepared beer drink).
Recommended for Lunch because: El Fish Fritanga offers reasonable prices, yummy food and a lovely location on the lagoon.
Kristin's expert tip: El Fish Fritanga delivers in the Hotel Zone so if you feel like staying in one night, have them bring dinner to your doorstep.
Le Natura is located in the heart of the Hotel Zone about 50 meters from the Party Zone, but once you enter this lush, green environment you'll forget that you are in one of the busiest areas of Cancun. They have an extensive menu geared towards fresh, healthy eating and many vegetarian dishes available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The prices are very reasonable. Try the breakfast combos or the lunch/dinner combos. The fresh juices and smoothies are a highlight but don't despair, Le Natura also serves beer, margaritas, daiquiris, etc. etc. This is a restaurant that you may want to visit more than once during your stay.
Recommended for Lunch because: Le Natura serves reasonably priced dishes made from natural ingredients.
Kristin's expert tip: Make your way towards the back of the restaurant to sit closer to the beach.
This hidden gem is perfect if you need a break from the all-inclusive buffet. The Pink Coconut is a vegetarian, vegan, health bar located in Cancun's Hotel Zone where you actually feel good after eating. This tiny cafe has a peaceful terrace overlooking Nichupte lagoon where visitors can enjoy their healthy, and most importantly, delicious, juices, smoothies, and light vegetarian and vegan food, like tacos, acai bowls, ceviche, vegan pizza, veggie burgers, falafel wraps, guacamole and more. Don't miss the ginger turmeric shot. Take out is available. If you are not a vegetarian or vegan, you might become one after eating at The Pink Coconut!
Recommended for Lunch because: All of the healthy vegetarian and vegan dishes and drinks served at The Pink Coconut and delicious and prepared with fresh ingredients.
Kristin's expert tip: Keep your eyes peeled for passing crocodiles.